A Moment of Innocence (1999)


Critic Consensus: Probing the nature of truth and memory with tenderness and humor, A Moment of Innocence serves as a breathtaking high point in Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's filmography.


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Movie Info

In Tehran, a former policeman in his forties gets in contact with the Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, reminding the filmmaker that he had promised him a part in his next movie. In fact, the two men had "met" 20 years earlier under rather dramatic circumstances: in 1975, the young Makhmalbaf, a dissident under the Shah's regime, stabbed this policeman while trying to steal his revolver. Imprisoned, the future filmmaker was released during the height of the Revolution. Instead of coming through with a role for the policeman, Makhmalbaf suggests that he prepares a restaging of that politically dramatic moment during '70s Iran from his own point of view as a former law enforcer; Makhmalbaf will prepare his own restaging as well, so that both stories could be woven into a dramatization, which Makhmalbaf and his crew would shoot. What results is an exercise in perspective and layered dramatic parody: each of the protagonists will have a small film crew and re-create the event as he saw it.


Mirhadi Tayebi
as The Policeman
Ali Bakhshi
as The Young Policeman
Mohsen Makhmalbaf
as The Director
Ammar Tafti
as The Young Director
Maryam Mohamadamini
as The Young Woman

Critic Reviews for A Moment of Innocence

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (12)

It is rare when a single image can sum up the emotional core of an entire movie, but the final freeze-frame of A Moment of Innocence is so moving in its completeness, it reminds us with jarring simplicity that we are in the hands of a genuine artist.

May 20, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Though its methods lie somewhere between Pirandello and Rashomon, A Moment Of Innocence adds a personal dimension that's uniquely its own, as Makhmalbaf's investigation into the past evolves into a touching act of contrition.

May 20, 2014 | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

What emerges is a consideration of the relativity of truth and memory.

May 20, 2014 | Full Review…

Too smug and too self-indulgent.

May 20, 2014 | Full Review…

This is one of the best features of the prolific and unpredictable Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

May 20, 2014 | Full Review…

This comedy of mixed motives and recently freshened memories becomes increasingly passionate.

May 20, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Moment of Innocence


Makhmalbaf sees a golden opportunity to make amends with his own past as he creates this groundbreaking meta-cinematic experiment that blends reality and fiction in so many different, unpredictable levels, while managing to surprise us at the most unexpected moments.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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